The Things We Do For Love

Sometimes I think that the church gets mixed up in the wrong details. Sometimes I think that we worry about things that really don't matter. And more often than not, it seems that we get most concerned about love. We worry about how God loves the world or how God defines love in the divine relationship with humanity. And sometimes, we even have the audacity to determine how humanity should celebrate the gift of love that God has given us.

I wish I had my Book of Worship now to remember the exact wording of the vow that I took at Ordination. As I imagine they are to many clergy, these vows are very important to me. I reread them when I need to focus on a bad day in ministry. I reread them and pray that I might live more deeply into these vows. But, there is one vow that has something to do with being called to guide God's people to live joyfully as God created them. That's not the right wording and if I remember it on Sunday, I will actually look it up at church. But, it's something like that. It's mixed in their with the vows to read and study and pray. To offer sacraments and preach the word. And then, the United Church of Christ reminds us that we are called to lead people on their spiritual journey -- wherever it might lead.

Now, there are dangerous places that this journey might go. You can imagine those situations yourself without my naming them. And we can all pray that we have the strength to deal with those dangerous places. We can all pray that we can lead, encourage, guide and love. After all, that's a big part of our call as clergy: to love.

And love can be dangerous. It can take some amazing turns. Some frightening and unexpected detours that we might never have planned for. This part of the journey is not only about loving others, as it is for Kate. This journey can also take us to deeper places of loving ourselves, like it has for Drew. Perhaps there is a need for boundaries so that no one is in too much danger.

But, I wonder. I wonder about our Stillspeaking God who has yet more "truth and light to shine upon God's word." I wonder if we are just not yet ready for all that God has in store for us. I wonder if those things that some of us find uncomfortable and being transgender or polyamorous are part of the audacious nature of that 16th verse in the third chapter of John that we love to quote so much. Perhaps. I admit that I'm still not sure. But, perhaps. Perhaps God loves the world so much that we are pushed to new places to explore what that kind of love might mean. Perhaps God dares us to imagine more truth and light in places that we think we have placed neat boundaries for our own safety and protection. Perhaps God calls us to be more dangerous. Perhaps.


Magdalene6127 said...

Thanks for this, Pastor Peters. I very much appreciate your writing.



Kate said...

Pastor Peters, thanks for the link to Drew! I shall have to figure out how to get hold of him and offer my support -- what he's doing is harder than anything I've ever done.

And thank you, thank you for the mention and good thoughts.